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Beware of RSI [www.theregister.co.uk]

Not usually a source of serious journalism, the register highlights the risks of RSI in their article Beware of RSI.

I'm not sure what their scientific backing for their fact is, but they claim that touch typing is less likely to cause injury which I found interesting.

I also had a friend get very serious RSI. She got it from playing musical instruments, not typing, but the injury is basically the same. For many years she couldn't write and had to pay an assistant to go with her to lectures and take notes. Thankfully she recovered fully, but then she was only 20 at the time - our bodies don't recover quite so easily at 30 and 40.

Avoiding RSI is why I bring my own Kinesis Ergo keyboard to work. Sure it cost me about $300 USD by the time I had it shipped to Australia, but I figure it's worth it to avoid crippling pain in my 40s. I have never replaced my old trackball though, I just try not to use the mouse much.

As an added bonus, once you become proficient at touch typing on the Kinesis contour keyboard you will probably be able to type faster as well as in much more comfort. It has an optimised layout (still qwerty) that reduces the distances your fingers have to reach (especially your pinkies) and makes better use of your strongest digits (those thumbs that are normally wasted on the spacebar). In addition, the keyswitches require less pressure (to reduce fatigue) and the key activation point is halfway down the travel so you don't need to pound the key all the way down (reducing impact).

http://kinesis-ergo.com/essential.htm

PS: Eternal thanks to Lars for putting me onto the best keyboard ever.

10:00 PM, 27 Apr 2006 by Mark Aufflick Permalink | Comments (0)

Get well Bob!

My good friend Bob (not his real name - he has an anonymous blog...) has been in hospital with a pneumonia-like condition. We're thinking of you and praying for you Bob (I *know* you'll have found a way to get net access in hospital ;)

And hey, blancmange is a tasty desert, a "moderately successful" 1980s synthpop band (but I'm sure you already knew that) and a type of fractal curve!

08:18 PM, 27 Apr 2006 by Mark Aufflick Permalink | Comments (0)

The Student magazine of ACM (Association for Computing Machinery - the US equivalent of Australia's ACS but more relevant) has interviewedPaul Graham.

The interview ranges from the future of programming, problem solving strategies and international outsourcing.

Interestingly Paul subscribes to the same problem solving strategy as I do, simply to get to know enough information about the problem so as to be able to "rotate and rearrange them in my head [like a mathematical problem]".

An extension that he applies that I really like is that once you take a mathematical-esque approach to the information, you can then run "thought experiments" or test hypotheses. His two hypothetical examples aren't particularly enlightening but the idea is otherwise a very useful tool.

12:58 AM, 27 Apr 2006 by Mark Aufflick Permalink | Comments (0)

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